Minnesota Timberwolves Draft Profile: Colorado’s Tyler Bey

Tyler Bey of the Colorado Buffaloes. (Photo by Soobum Im/Getty Images)
Tyler Bey of the Colorado Buffaloes. (Photo by Soobum Im/Getty Images) /

If the Minnesota Timberwolves want defense, Tyler Bey is one of the best interior defenders in the 2020 NBA Draft.

Tyler Bey is one of the most versatile defenders in college basketball. He is incredible both on and off-ball and both inside and on the perimeter. Expect Bey to have a 7-foot-plus wingspan at the combine but his height is shorter than the average four. That said, he does play larger than his listed height.

Bey always rose to the occasion against tougher opponents and was overall very consistent. He only had four games (out of 31) which he scored less than ten points, despite averaging only 13 points per game.

Bey provides elite-level rebounding. He positions himself well in the paint and constantly fights for boards. He is great on the glass on both ends of the court, almost playing in a center-type role for Colorado.

Though he will never be a playmaker, Bey needs to improve his overall reactive passing. He’s not the type of player that makes “the extra pass”, per se. As someone that has trouble scoring on the perimeter, he really needs to work on that aspect of his game.

Offensively, Bey does not bring much to the table other than his interior scoring. In terms of that inside scoring, he struggles to score with his left hand although he is a very athletic finisher. Bey’s post-up game is not great either — though it is sufficient.

Bey’s shooting also needs a lot of work. He had a great percentage from the three-point line, but that may not be too accurate as he only attempted one 3-pointer per game. His FT-percentage does indicate he may be able to develop his shot in the long-term.

The main concern with Bey is that he will not be able to find an offensive role, which — should that be the case — he will struggle to find a team willing to give him consistent minutes.

Fit with the Timberwolves

Though his shooting potential may be somewhat limited, the Timberwolves do need a versatile forward defender. Having a player with the ability to guard anyone from 2-4 would prove to be very valuable to the team.

Bey isn’t a natural fit next to Karl-Anthony Towns, nor would be a great PnR fit with D’Angelo Russell. That said, he is just overall a really solid basketball player. If the Timberwolves want someone who likely will not be a bust with the 33rd overall pick, Bey might be that pick.

The ceiling for Bey is really high (if his offensive game comes around) but the floor, depending on what you want in a basketball player, can look really low at times. Bey projects to be a rotational four at the next level with high-level defense.

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The Timberwolves need impact players. Though what he does will inevitably not show up on the box score, Bey has the upside to become one of those impact players, and the Timberwolves may find that appealing — even if the shooting numbers are not there.